#IPackedAShoeBox
Posted on November 4th, 2017 @ 11:04 pm

I’m at the finishing touches now for my boxes. I wish I could afford to send more. I may only be sending 4 boxes, but for these, quality is more important than quantity for me.

If you are looking for an idea what to pack in a box, here’s what I packed:

5-9 Year Old Boy:

Tools:
Cup
Flashlight with extra batteries
Hammer
Pliers
Reusable Bag
Reusable Utensils
Rope Clip
Screwdriver
Sewing Kit with extra safety pins
Tape Measure

Toiletries:
Bar of Soap
Lip Balm
Magic Towel
Manicure Kit
Tissues

Learning:
Crayons
Pad of paper
Pencil Sharpener
Pencils
Rulers
Stickers

Clothing:
Gloves
Socks
Sunglasses

Toys:
Baseball
Beanie Baby
Hackey Sacks
Hot Wheels
Rubber Duckie
Rubik’s Cube

Spiritual:
Hand Painted John 3:16 Rock
I Am Loved pin
Personalized Letter
Photo of me
Post Cards from me
Prayer Book

5-9 Year Old Girl:

Tools:
Cup
Flashlight with extra batteries
Reusable Bag
Reusable Utensils
Sewing Kit with extra safety pins

Toiletries:
Bar of Soap
Hairbrush & Comb
Hairbands
Hair Scrunchie
Lip Balm
Magic Towel
Manicure Kit
Tissues

Learning:
Crayons
Pad of paper
Pencil Sharpener
Pencils
Pens
Puffy Pink Pen
Rulers

Clothing:
Gloves
Jewelry
Socks
Sunglasses

Toys:
Beanie Baby
Coin Purse
Dolls (2)
Lei
Rubber Duckie

Spiritual:
Hand Painted John 3:16 Rock
I Am Loved pin
Personalized Letter
Photo of me
Post Cards from me
Prayer Book

10-14 Year Old Boy:

Tools:
Cup
Flashlight with extra batteries
Hammer
Pliers
Reusable Bag
Reusable Utensils
Rope Clip
Screwdriver
Sewing Kit with extra safety pins
Tape Measure
Work Gloves

Toiletries
Bar of Soap
Combs
Lip Balm
Magic Towel
Manicure Kit
Tissues

Learning:
Crayons
Pad of paper
Pencil Sharpener
Pencils
Rulers
Stickers

Clothing:
Gloves
Socks
Sunglasses

Toys:
Beanie Baby
Hackey Sacks
Hot Wheels
Rubber Duckie
Rubik’s Cube

Spiritual:
Hand Painted John 3:16 Rock
I Am Loved pin
Personalized Letter
Photo of me
Post Cards from me
Prayer Book

10-14 Year Old Girl:

Tools:
Cup
Flashlight with extra batteries
Reusable Bag
Reusable Utensils
Sewing Kit with extra safety pins
Work Gloves

Toiletries:
Bar of Soap
Hairbrush
Hair Bands
Hair Scrunchie
Lip Balm
Magic Towel
Manicure Kit
Reusable Pad
Tissues

Learning:
Crayons
Notebook
Pad of paper
Pencil Sharpener
Pencils
Pens
Puffy Pink Pen
Rulers

Clothing:
Gloves
Jewelry
Socks
Sunglasses
Slipper Socks

Toys:
Beanie Baby
Coin Purse
Lei
Rubber Duckie

Spiritual:
Hand Painted John 3:16 Rock
I Am Loved pin
Personalized Letter
Photo of me
Post Cards from me
Prayer Book

More ideas can be found at Simply Shoeboxes. I recommend shopping throughout the year. For the boys, Harbor Freight was a great place to buy tools. Dollar Tree is good for some small stuff and bulk goods. If you can buy stuff in bulk, I recommend it.

I know there are people out there that are critical and venomous towards Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child. They are allowed to express their thoughts on that. As for me, I am not going to be that critical. Any help is better than no help. Sometimes, it’s not the help itself that makes the difference, it’s the thought behind it. It’s the thought that someone took their time to think of me.

My mother stressed to me growing up at we had things a lot better than children in other parts in the world. Now, we had our lean days as well. We weren’t rich. Nicki and I had to share our My Little Ponies. We shared a lot of toys. Matthew and Beth got a lot of hand me downs, too. Matthew got my Hot Wheels collection and Beth everything else. As we all got older, things got better for our family, financially, so Matthew and Beth got things we didn’t get.

However, when we could afford it, my mother stressed sharing with others. If she knew a need had to be met for someone and she could fulfill that need, she did it. She just was a loving and helpful person. When we lived on Ft. Bragg, every year she tried to provide one kid on the Angel Tree.

So, in a way, I do this because I want my mother’s generosity to live on. I want some kid out there to know someone took the time to make their day a bit brighter.

Also, several years after my mother died, I was told about a nice woman that helped my mother in a time of need. I never met this woman. She’s long dead by now. But, after I heard that story, it made me sad to know my mother had to receive charity for us. And in a way, I want to honor that woman’s generosity. Pay it forward.

Maybe it comes out of the fact I suffer from depression. I don’t want others to be depressed. I want them to be happy. The simplest things can bring joy. If a little girl somewhere can get excited about a lei or a boy about a baseball, then it’s all worth it to me.


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Life · Operation Christmas Child



It’s time for Operation Christmas Child box building & shipping.
Posted on October 23rd, 2017 @ 11:15 am

I just made my last purchases last night for my Operation Christmas Child boxes. I participated last year and wanted to do it again. This year, I’m doing 4 boxes. I did a box for a 5-9 year girl, a 5-9 year old boy, a 10-14 year boy, and a 10-14 year old girl. I’ve bought the stuff for it throughout the year. I am sending necessities, like toothbrushes and soap, but I added some fun stuff for the kids. Boys are getting Rubik’s Cubes. All get a bear. All get a cup. The older girl is getting an additional stuffed animal. The younger girl is getting a couple of dolls. The boys are also getting some tools. I ordered reusable pads for the older girl. The younger girl is getting a hairbrush set.

I basically filled the shoe boxes with as much as I can. Some of the stuff is dollar store stuff; some of it is not. I still need to sit down and write a short note for the boxes. And pick up a couple of postcards like last year!

Last year, my boxes went to Mali. I don’t know where they will go this year. I know when I get the e-mail.


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Life · Operation Christmas Child



“Precious moments, special people”
Posted on December 22nd, 2016 @ 9:49 pm

Now that I got my pity party out of the way, I’m really better.  It’s really not healthy bottling up anger.

Christmas with Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith

Last Friday, Lindsey and I went to Duluth, GA to see the joint Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.  Jordan Smith joined them on stage for some performances. The show was sponsored by Operation Christmas Child.  Here’s a video of Michael W. Smith a few years ago:

I had a wonderful time. They were having a donation drive at the concert. You’d get an ornament with a $10 or more donation to OCC ornament. I liked how Amy said before intermission that they needed money to ship these boxes. Like shipping my boxes to Mali.

It was such a fun concert! I was so happy to hear Amy perform “Love Has Come.” I had joked on the drive up to Duluth while Amy’s version of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” that the concert should open with the Michael version of the song.  Low and behold, it was the opener as I joked!

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra performed as the musicians for backing. What a wonderful treat!

This was my first real introduction to Jordan Smith. I loved his rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” He also sang “O Holy Night” and the crowd took out their phones and held them like candles.  It was amazing how bright the arena got with the phones on.

All in all, a great night.


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Atlanta · Flickr Photos · Life · Music · Operation Christmas Child · Photography



They’re Going to Mali!
Posted on December 13th, 2016 @ 8:31 am

Flag of Mali

Mali? Where is Mali? What is Mali?

Nation of Mali

This morning, I checked the location of where my Operation Christmas Child boxes were going.  I finally got a location.  They’re going to Mali!  And you know what city is in Mali? Timbuktu. Not that my boxes are going to Timbuktu directly, but I can kid about my boxes going from here To Timbuktu.

I will have to keep track of the Operation Christmas Child Facebook page for any updates.


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Life · Operation Christmas Child



“It’s the Most Depressing Time of the Year”
Posted on November 24th, 2016 @ 8:15 pm

I’m writing this one not in a crying bout at the moment.  It will come.

Why am I calling this the most depressing time of the year?  Basically, it’s the time of the year I hit my lowest.  It’s the time around my birthday.  I can’t help but wonder what I haven’t tackled and should have tackled by now.  Using a phrase I was taught in Girl Scouts at age, “Comparisons are odious.” I know I should do it, but I can’t help it. While other people are in awe of me, I am not.  I feel like there are things I’m missing out on.

It’s the time of the year my mother died.   It miss her a lot.  When I get into these bouts, I want to talk to her.  She’s the one I could always depend on. On my way back from Augusta the other day, I was in the car and just started crying as I listed to some music.  I had had a great trip, but had a dream on the trip that just got to me.  I can rationalize the dream on a intellectual level, but on the emotional level, it hit me like a gut punch.

So yes, I give people warnings as to why I am distanced this time of year.  It’s supposed to be a happy one.  And it’s hard to be happy when you’re at your lowest.  And maybe on day, I won’t be alone.  I really think it’s about feeling all alone.

With that being said, I decided to do something this year for someone else.  I decided to create two boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I don’t have a husband, boyfriend, nor kids, but I wanted to give the Christmas miracle to a couple of kids.  I made a box for a boy and a girl, each, about age 10-14.  I decided that would be the best age to get my gift.  I don’t know how often they get boxes, but I know with the Angel Trees here in the States, those kids are always the last to be taken off the tree.

I should chip in for a kid here locally as well.  I will see.

For the OCC kids, I gave each a magic towel, a dish towel, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, some pencils, a pencil sharpener, scissors, a flashlight, a New Testament Bible, a pad of paper, a small Christmas ornament, and some Everlasting Gobstobbers.  For the boy, I gave him Hot Wheels, a pair of wire cutting pliers, a small football, a yo-yo, a Rubik’s Cube, and a few other items I felt a boy would like. For the girl, I gave her a coloring book with crayons, a teddy bear, a necklace, and a coin purse, to name a few. I also sent them a Christmas card with postcards with a little note on each one.

I am hoping that what I gave in each box is enough to broaden their horizons.  The Bible isn’t so much as to proselytize, but I thought a great way to try to allow the kids to learn English. Many people have learned English from the Bible alone.  I want them to see that the world is theirs for the taking.

So, while I will be suffering depression, I hope my actions to fight it will help others.  And believe it or not, I am looking forward to seeing where the boxes end up.  If a child wants to write me, even better.


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Life · Operation Christmas Child



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